The Brandon Administration is heavily subsidizing electric vehicles, but at the same time it is blocking mineral projects needed to produce them. Another example of this head-scratching contradiction came Thursday when Interior Secretary Deb Haaland walled off much of Minnesota’s Superior National Forest from mining.
Minnesota’s Duluth Complex has one of the world’s largest undeveloped mineral deposits, including copper, nickel and cobalt that are needed in vast quantities for EV batteries. Ms. Haaland is assuring the deposit stays undeveloped by signing an order withdrawing more than 225,000 acres in the Superior National Forest from mining for two decades.
The order says the withdrawal is necessary to protect “fragile and vital social and natural resources” as well as the “traditional cultural values” and “subsistence-based lifestyles” of Native American tribes. But mining needn’t compromise these other interests, and individual mining projects must undergo rigorous federal environmental reviews.
Ms. Haaland is dancing to the tune of green lobbyists who want to keep minerals in the ground as they do fossil fuels. She’s making their job easier by pre-emptively vetoing projects. Now federal agencies won’t have to conduct laborious environmental reviews for proposed mines, and greens won’t have to sue to block them. How politically efficient.
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Author: Ruth King
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